Global demand for polyester yarns has grown steadily since 1980, according to PCI WoodMackenzie data reported by UNIFI.
In 2003, polyester replaced cotton as the fiber with the largest percentage of global fiber sales.
Then, in 2018, global polyester consumption accounted for an estimated 56% of global fiber consumption, and global demand was projected to increase by approximately 3.0 to 3.5% annually through calendar 2025.
At the same time, in 2018, global nylon consumption accounted for an estimated 5% of global fiber consumption.
In addition, according to UNIFI, due to the higher cost of nylon, the industry may transition certain products from nylon to polyester.
The polyester and nylon fiber sectors together accounted for approximately 61% of North American textile consumption during calendar 2018.
UNIFI estimates that these calendar 2018 trends remained similar or identical during 2019.
The Covid-19 pandemic negatively impacted the textile industry during 2020, but the company believes the share of polyester and nylon consumption has remained generally unchanged.
UNIFI operates in the textile industry and, within that broad category, in the respective markets for yarns, fabrics, fibers and end-use products, such as apparel and hosiery, automotive, industrial products and home furnishings, among others.
Although the textile industry is global, there are several distinctive regional or other geographic markets that often shape the business strategies and operations of industry participants.
Due to free trade agreements and other trade regulations underwritten by the U.S. government, the U.S. textile industry, otherwise a distinct geographic market in its own right, is often considered in conjunction with other geographic markets or regions in North, South and Central America.
According to the National Council of Textile Organizations, total U.S. textile and apparel industry shipments were approximately $65.2 billion in 2021, as the U.S. textile and apparel industry exported nearly $28.4 billion of textile and apparel products.
The adoption of the U.S.-Mexico-U.S.-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by the United States in calendar 2020 did not have a significant impact on textile and apparel trade in the region.
The USMCA includes strong rules of origin and closed several loopholes in NAFTA that allowed for non-originating inputs, such as sewing thread, pockets and narrow elastic fabrics.